Dameware Utilities – a great tool for remote access and management

A client recently introduced me to a product that really does deserver a mention. If you are a busy sysadmin and want to get the lowdown on the machines that make up your domain – you really should take a look at the Dameware product which the company pitches as –

DameWare NT Utilities
The Ultimate Enterprise System Management Software for Windows
System Requirements: Windows NT4, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista

The product is really split into several bits – 1) Remote control 2) Management tools 3) System tools

The remote control aspect is appealing for the managers perspective – the remote access service component can be installed on the machine remotely as long as appropriate domain rights are available. I especially like the remote shell (command line prompt) feature for behind the scenes work while users continue their work – and the support for multi headed screens – both individual screens and the virtual desktop !!!

Management is available for a wide range of individual machine properties such as -Domains, Workstations, Disk Drives, Event Logs, Local Groups, Global Groups, Domain members, Open Files, Printers, Processes, Properties, Registry, Services, Sessions, Shares, ShutDown/Reboot, Software, Terminal Services/RDP, Users, Wake-on-LAN … the list is impressive and can be viewed on all accessible machines. The properties are accessed from the list of available / detected machines and for example allow the launch of the remote control app or the remote shell (command line session on the remote machine) or all the other properties including shutdown / reboot !!

The systems tool element relates to the expandable aspect of the tool – where you can bolt in the other tools you use – regedit – vnc etc. You can create your own menu on the tool bar for these apps and launch them from within dameware.

A final piece of the puzzle is the Exporter tool (seperate from the main program) which allows an Administrator to selectively export information from remote Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 machines, including information about Computers, Disk Drives, Groups, Printers, Members, Services, Shares, Software, Users, & even information via WMI (Windows Managements Instrumentation) classes.

Best of all the licensing policy is based on the number of administrators actually using the software, regardless of the number of servers or clients accessed.